[20] Regina Spektor, ‘Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas)’

Regina Spektor

Junior is 7. When we started our year-end countdowns on 7 December 2005 she was five months old and our No.20 single of the year was Gorillaz and De La Soul’s ‘Feel Good Inc.’.

In 2006 it was Secret Machines’ ‘Lightning Blue Eyes’
In 2007 it was Bat For Lashes’ ‘What’s A Girl To Do?’
In 2008 it was Hot Chip’s ‘Ready For The Floor’
In 2009 it was LCD Soundsystem’s ‘Bye Bye Bayou’
In 2010 it was Lykke Li’s ‘Get Some’
In 2011 it was Surkin’s ‘Ultra Light’

And now it’s Regina Spektor, exhuming a song from a decade ago and slapping on a bouncing, pop reggae rhythm track that you’d have expected to see Rockmelons fail to have a hit with in 1993. So it’s all about history today.

“I know this song,” says Junior, turning sharply to the stereo and draping her hair in her apple strudel and custard. “This is the best song ever,” projects Junior 2 (aged 4), hearing it for the first time. By the second chorus she knows all the words because she’s got a brain like that. Junior 3 (aged 2) just wants to get down and dance with her sisters. With every daughter we produce, this blog gets more complicated. That’s why I take six-month breaks – not laziness. No.

Spektor’s never been more than a kooky distant blip on my radar but What We Saw From The Cheap Seats is a deep-pile, affecting album and this is its shining pop moment. It also makes me want to hang out on Lexington and claim, “I love Paris in the rain”. I just love Paris when I’m not throwing up the previous night’s dinner from that place near Sacré Coeur. So that’s nice.

[20] Bat For Lashes, ‘What’s A Girl To Do?’

Bat For Lashes, ‘What’s A Girl To Do?’

WE BEGIN with the witchy, ethereal, Bjorkish, any other tired adjectives that might have been applied this year, Natasha Khan – runaway Mercury favourite on the night and Kate Bush for the Noughties. The ramshackle Klaxons snagged the award, but Fur And Gold was the most enticing album on the list, all horses and wizards.
 
This comes on like ‘Be My Baby’ with its thumping drum intro – let’s be clear here, it is the ‘Be My Baby’ intro – before it gets all, erm, witchy and ethereal with Natasha whispering her vexing situation as if she’s floating around right next to your ear. The chorus steals the drums again, but provides no answers, just that question. It takes you into a dark, unsettling world – pure pop drama.
 
Junior took the CD off me, popped it in the tray and pressed play, unprompted. We may have been doing this too long. She then held out her ra-ra skirt and curtseyed throughout, which was a new one on me, but I can quite imagine that Khan is a curtseying sort of girl.